A busy holiday season is a good thing for any ecommerce business. Orders flow in and revenues rise, but the holidays also pose a serious shipping challenge: how can you be sure that your customers receive their purchases in time to put smiles on faces?
Connect With Your Shippers Now
If you aren’t doing the shipping yourself, talk with your preferred shipping companies and carriers and give them a heads-up about your expected peak shipping period (if you are shipping yourself, make sure you have all your pick-ups scheduled as needed). If your products tend to be shipped to certain locations, let your shipper know that as well. The information you provide can help your shipper add staffers and merchandise pickups if necessary to meet that peak demand. It also helps you align your delivery estimates with those of your shippers.
Expand Your Options
If you typically work with one carrier or fulfillment center, you may want to add another provider or two to your shipping team. That can give you more options when things get super-busy. It can also be a way to shift some of your inventory to locations closer to far-off customers, reducing the actual shipping time. For instance, an East Coast online retailer might consider adding a fulfillment center in California (or vice versa) so products are warehoused nearer to holiday customers. This strategy can also reduce your overall shipping costs – an important consideration for many retailers.
Add Workers to Your Warehouse & Fulfillment Ops
Be sure you will have enough people on hand to turn those incoming orders into outgoing shipments. If you use a third-party fulfillment center, talk to the manager about holiday staffing plans to avoid delays. It’s also a good idea to prepare your warehouse for increased activity, and check the sorting and labeling equipment to make sure everything is in good condition. In either case, your goal is to get your products out the door and into the hands of the shipper as quickly as possible.
Because shipping concerns can make or break a customer’s purchase decision—especially at the holidays—be transparent about the steps you’re taking to smooth the delivery process. Post a “holiday update” on your website detailing everything you’re doing to make this a pain-free process. You can also announce any changes to your normal delivery policy, so your customers know in advance what to expect.
And now, without further ado, here’s ShipStation’s 2015 Holiday Shipping Guide:
You can also download it here:
|1250 x 2059||1700 x 2800|
|500 x 824||850 x 1400|